Category Archives: stories

Ann and Anna, (serial short story, Part 9): Found

      …  Parts 8 (Lost), 7 (Rock), 6 (Believe), 5 (Naming), 4 (Home), 3 (Trust), 2 (Hope), and 1 (Nightmares) have posted on previous Sundays…

     I heard that strange bird make it’s call again, closer still, which augured nothing good.  If this was to be my end, I wanted to at least let old Mary here get away.  I tried to lift my head, and got kicked by more lightening bugs for my trouble.  Never knew those bugs could kick anything, but they sure did.  I tried to puff out a breath.  No.  That only made her come closer.  I began to feel myself tremble, and even thought I smelled the stench of fear that could only come from my body.  Horse sweat smelled sweeter and pure.  That smell was so close I could see myself rolling up onto old Mary’s back, my leg levitating over the saddle as if by some art of magic.  The pain that exploded through my body as my head came up was no magic.  Try though I did to stay quiet, a croak escaped my throat .

 

“Hush, now.”

 

     I was sure I’d finally gone mad, out here.  I imagined I had heard the voice of my dear sweet Anna, whom I feverishly hoped was far away, safe from these dangers.  Feeling a gentle touch upon my neck, I tried opening my eyes again, and beheld four familiar windows into the soul of the one I most feared to see:  Anna was indeed there beside me, rolling me onto old Mary, who had apparently once again done her circus trick of laying her large frame right down on the ground.  This blessed creature had practically wormed herself under my body, somehow.  Kneeling right beside her, in double beauty, were two images of my Anna.  My dear, sweet, wonderful, and now also in danger, Anna.  I tried to warn her about that strange bird, but my mouth only admitted a grimace, and then the lightening bugs had their say, forcing my eyes closed again in a nauseated haze.  I felt a finger upon my lips as the earth seemed to pull my limbs down, and then, forgive me, the pain and smells all faded away again.

 

 

       This is the continuation scene in my new historical fiction series  Ann&Anna.  I  hope that this series will move you to learn more ways to help use our history to build new tools.

  Part 8 was last Sunday, and Part 10 will be next Sunday.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how this story may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

-we can learn from the past Stayed on Freedom’s Call for free,

        by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plans offline) in the present, to

                     We can  Do Better: a Vision of a Better World to create a kinder future

 

Peace    

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

( 5 month GED lesson 18 of 67 plans…),

       and Ranger M.’s Babylon 5 review posts, because story inspires learning, and historical stories inspire tool-building, right?  “Of course right!”

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Please leave a review, if you can, on the GoodReads page.

Shira 

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

short narrative nonfiction: Some Tours are Worth Marching

      …  Memories of an UnSat Plebe’s Cost Benefit Analysis…

     I was chopping down the hall after breakfast, almost to my room.  No upperclassmen around.

 

“Miss Jones!”

     Him.  And of course, I’d not had time to memorize that damned menu for tomorrow’s evening meal.

 

“Yes, Sir!”

“Hit a bulkhead!

“Ay, ay, Sir!

     Before I had even gotten to the side of the hall, he was standing there, waiting.  What did this guy do, camp out in his classmate’s room by my door?  F***’in-A!

 

“Miss Jones, did you try to hip-check Mr. O?”

     That fat Firstie I ran into on the way to Morning Meal Formation?  Seriously?  He’s twice my weight!  Actually, almost every upperclassman was twice my weight.  This one probably weighed three of me.  Why on earth would I ever try to hip-check the guy?

 

“No, Sir!”

“He says you tried to hip check him this morning!  What the hell, Miss Jones!”

     Mr. Dizane stared at me with open contempt.  He was Marine Corps option, with muscles on his eyeballs.  I was 105 soaking wet, which was 5 pounds and several weeks below my “allowed” weight.  The day he’d jumped up on the scale with me to shout that I was “screwing up, Miss Jones, you’re not eating, Miss Jones!” was a study in stupidity.  How on earth was 10 minutes in the Wardroom, while hefting tables and singing Anchors, Away, followed immediately, of course, by the Marine Corps anthem, supposed to be enough to eat anything?  Being the only plebe in my company not getting chow packages was a serious problem.

 

“I didn’t see him, Sir.”

“Bullshit, Miss Jones!  Give me a Form 2!”

“But Sir -”

“Are you being a Sea Lawyer, Miss Jones?!  You are not getting Liberty until you graduate from this place!”

     That was it.  I knew he wanted me gone, but this took the cake.  My fist curled around the edge of the demerit form as I pulled it from the lining of my cover, placing it back on my head just so, before handing over the form.

 

“Permission to speak freely, Sir.”

     He’d looked me up and down, taking his own sweet time, my frickin’ study time, to answer.

 

“I bet you want to hit me, don’t you, Miss Jones.  Don’t you?”

     He stepped closer to me, his nose nearly touching my forehead as he looked down at me.  I gritted my teeth harder as I stared straight ahead, forcing myself to un-clench my fists.

 

“Go ahead, Miss Jones, let’s hear this one.”

     By the time he’d stepped back, I was shaking with anger, my jaw nearly locked closed.  I looked him in the eye, imagining him swallowed up by the Atlantic.  I could even smell the salty air beyond the Severn.

 

“Sir, I suggest we take our rifles, and both run the sea wall.  Let’s see who drops in first.”

     Had I just said that?  Oops.

     Cost of “correctly” insulting an upperclassman:

          1. yet another 15 minute full military briefing on the Pheonix II missile system,

           2. blowing yet another calc or chemistry exam, and

            3. likely going to the Ax Boards, if my GPA fell enough.

 

Benefit: the look on his face was priceless.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

(P.S.:  too bad I didn’t think of the new title, or the handshake and ‘brain-dumping’ C-PTSD symptoms I arrived with, until after posting this, and partly thanks to commentors…

S.)

 

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how this anecdote may encourage out of the box thinking about our military, and might also help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

-we can learn from the past Stayed on Freedom’s Call for free,

        by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plans offline) in the present, to

                     We can  Do Better: a Vision of a Better World to create a kinder future

 

Peace    

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

( 5 month GED lesson 17 of 67 plans…),

  Ranger M.’s Babylon 5 review posts, because story inspires learning.  There is also my historical fiction series  Ann&Anna.  I  hope that these stories will move you to learn more ways to help use our history to build new tools….

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Please leave a review, if you can, on the GoodReads page.

Shira 

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Ann and Anna, (serial short story, Part 8): Lost

      …  Parts 7 (Rock), 6 (Believe), 5 (Naming), 4 (Home), 3 (Trust), 2 (Hope), and 1 (Nightmares) have posted on previous Sundays…

     In my fear of the slave hunters, I had forgotten my fear of riding.

     That was a grave error.

 

“Shoot ‘im again!  Shoot ‘im!!”

     As I looked back at that bear, its terrible face lifted to the sky, my grip on old Mary’s mane slipped a little.  I let go with my right hand, reaching down as I turned my head back, feeling for the reins.  More shots rang out, and I jumped, losing the right rein I had just retrieved.  I was barely managing to keep my seat, stretched over the pommel as I was.

 

     Then I saw the log.

 

 

     When I awoke, it seemed like days must have passed.  Night had fallen, cold and still.  The smell of pine needles and earth was mingled with a foul under taste.  Blood.  I lifted my head a little, and saw lightning bugs appear just above my eyes.  Wait, that couldn’t be right.  It was too cold now, for lightening bugs.  I tried to get up, and immediately regretted it. 

     My aching body protested, the slightest movement producing a jolt of pain that yanked a whimper from my lips.  As if in reply to that pained prayer, a sound like somebody sweeping dirt under the carpet came from beside me.  Try as I might, though, I could not make my body turn over to see the source of that sound.  I sighed in despair.  Even that hurt.

 

“Dear Lord, please let me go.”

     It was the only prayer I could make.  But it was not the Good Lord who answered me.  Instead, I felt a familiar muzzle nudging my shoulder, just as a strange sounding bird made a double cry.  I felt a shuffling against my left arm, and then the fall of four hooves stepping over me just as gently as could be, touching the ground inches away from my chilled limbs.  That muzzle lowered itself back to my head, breathing into my face as I’d gotten used to old Mary doing.

 

     Old Mary!

 

     That strange bird called again, closer this time, and I began to worry, alone out here in these woods.  I had tried once to be still like a rock, and look at me.  Instead of being like a rock, I appeared to have hit my head on one.  Not exactly walking by faith.  Even worse, I’d got old Mary here into danger along with me.  Anna would not be happy with me.  But right now, that was the least of my troubles, for she was not here.  In point of fact, I didn’t even know where here might be.   My dear guide Anna could navigate these woods in surety, I could not.

 

     And now, we’d gone and gotten separated.

 

       This is the continuation scene in my new series  Ann&Anna.  I  hope that this series will move you to learn more ways to help use our history to build new tools.

  Part 7 was last Sunday, and Part 9 will be next Sunday.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how this story may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

-we can learn from the past Stayed on Freedom’s Call for free,

        by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plans offline) in the present, to

                     We can  Do Better: a Vision of a Better World to create a kinder future

 

Peace    

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

( 5 month GED lesson 17 of 67 plans…),

       and Ranger M.’s Babylon 5 review posts, because story inspires learning, and historical stories inspire tool-building, right?  “Of course right!”

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Please leave a review, if you can, on the GoodReads page.

Shira 

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

short narrative nonfiction: “I Shouldn’t Exist?”

      …  Memories of visiting mid 1970’s NYC from NJ…

     We were in one of those tunnels, smelling the stink of the city.  Was this the Lincoln, or the Holland?  I could hear Suzanna calling the gas station owner a putz, again, over the cough of her little VW’s engine.   I thought I’d seen a flash of blue light for a second, but then the engine stuttered.  I hoped we wouldn’t break down.   She’d said that he watered down his gas to make more money.  How did they put water in the gasoline, anyway?  Wasn’t it all closed up somewhere?    I turned to Suzanna.  She knew so many interesting things, and never told me to stop asking questions.  

She wouldn’t look at me.

     My stomach started to get upset, the way it did with other people, when they got mad.  But I’d never seen Suzanna mad at me, even when I peaked in her room at the Wonder Woman poster she was saving for my seventh birthday.

“Look.”

     Her voice was wrong, not hers.  I tried to look over at her, but I couldn’t move.  What did I do?     It was like …   Why were we pulling over?

     Suzanna looked up at the rear view mirror, at something behind us.  When she turned back, leaning to look me in the eyes, her face wore a mask of fright.

     “Alright, that cop is going to think you’re my daughter.”  

     She looked at me in a weird way.  Like I scared her, and went on,

“So he’s going to think that I’m dating a Black guy.  So don’t go making any of your smart alec remarks.”

     She turned back to her window, working the hand crank and pushing on it to finish rolling the window down.  Just then, a big white man with a very pink face appeared in her window, looking over at me, then back at her.

     It was that same look I’d seen every time a kid was about to beat me up.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how this story may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

-we can learn from the past Stayed on Freedom’s Call for free,

        by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plans offline) in the present, to

                     We can  Do Better: a Vision of a Better World to create a kinder future

 

Peace    

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

( 5 month GED lesson 17 of 67 plans…),

  Ranger M.’s Babylon 5 review posts, because story inspires learning.  There is also my historical series  Ann&Anna.  I  hope that these stories will move you to learn more ways to help use our history to build new tools….

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Please leave a review, if you can, on the GoodReads page.

Shira 

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Ann and Anna, (serial short story, Part 7): Rock

      …  Parts 6 (Believe), 5 (Naming), 4 (Home), 3 (Trust), 2 (Hope), and 1 (Nightmares) have posted on previous Sundays:

 

          We’d started on our way again, in spite of it being daylight. It was early morning, with the rising sun just as freshly awakened as we were. I was awake and worrying about our plan so as not to worry about little Sal and Miss Mary. Anna had agreed that there was no point in waiting, since we were only about a day’s ride to our next station. Still, I fretted, though I tried not to let it show.

I did not want my companion troubled by my inconstant humors. That turned out to be a good thing, it would seem.

“Stop!” Her urgent whisper had sent pins and needles from my belly up through my arms.

“Get your head down, quick!”

Anna had grabbed the reins out of my hands and led all of us over to a large fallen tree
before I even knew she was beside me. Our horses must have been well trained, for they followed her tightly together with their heads down, so that I could hardly move at all. I flattened my body along old Mary’s neck, feeling as if I might fall off any moment. Then Anna did a thing I had never even heard of.

“Just hold right on, and be still, like a rock.”

She clucked her tongue and patted both horses heads. To my utter surprise, we four, like the Children of Israel, fell to the ground as one man. Even more amazingly, we did so in complete silence. The sounds of a few birds, preparing for the long winter ahead, and a light breeze rustling the fallen leaves of a few trees also preparing to brave the coming cold were all that my ears could tell me. I started to raise my head to look around, but felt the lightest touch of Anna’s hand upon my arm, warning me not to move.
Then I heard them.

Voices, moving through the woods, only just coming within my hearing. Yet my sweet
Anna had heard them well before now, and acted with steadier nerve than many a man. How did she do that?

Then came another sound which I heard at a distance, but well enough to bring the taste of
bile to my throat.
A dog had barked.

I began to pray, as the smell of my own sweat hit me, mingled with the smell of horse and
pine needles. My face was buried between the necks of our two horses, who had somehow
managed to lay themselves down with us still mounted upon them. Not if I lived a hundred years and finally got to see a circus perform did I ever expect to see something like that. I gave thanks for this minor miracle, and asked the Almighty for the grace to let us remain unseen and unheard by those who sought our return to bondage. I also prayed for forgiveness. I would need it, if I got to my sewing basket before those patrollers got to me.

“Stay here, and don’t move.”

What was she up to, now? I felt Anna move, silent as the grave, from off of her horse,
gliding low across the ground over to a large bush that might have had some berries on it, a few weeks ago, and scatter something, then glide back to our hiding place, almost in the blink of an eye, despite the distance she had covered. The dog barked again, closer this time, and I heard shouts, as if several men were following.

As the racket grew louder, Anna looked both ways, as if about to cross a street in the Federal City,

“Hold on tight, old Mary won’t let you fall.”

Before I had time to ponder those words, she had clucked her tongue and patted both horses heads again. I felt both of our mounts surging up into the air, and wrapped my fingers in old Mary’s mane as my feet found the stirrups. With another click of her tongue, we both began to walk backwards! My stomach roiled as the shouts and barking grew closer, and we were finally able to see our pursuers. The were indeed slave patrollers, and most likely looking specifically for us.

Then, I saw another sight which I shall never forget. A black bear, which I had somehow
utterly failed to notice, was sniffing at the bush Anna had just left. As the shouts became orders to stop, directed at us, and the barking became the baying of a hound which has cornered its quarry, the bear looked at them, and stood up. Growling.

As if this were exactly what Anna had been waiting for, she gave a sharp whistle, and the
ears of both our mounts perked up to points.

“Hold on!” Anna spurred her horse, and jerked to the left.

All I’d had time for was a glance her way, as old Mary surged forward, in time with her
companion, wheeling around so sharply that I only just managed to stay seated. I heard the sounds of a dog crying out in pain, a bear growling at the sky, and a gun shot.

I leaned over old Mary’s neck, flattening out with her as she and our friends beside us
stretched their necks. I clung to good old Mary’s mane for dear life, my legs wrapped around her flanks as my fingers clutched the hair of her mane, my face nearly buried in that hair whipping around mingled with mine. Over the noise of our hooves, I could hear the commotion behind us.

It sounded closer.

 

       This is the continuation scene in my new series  Ann&Anna.  I  hope that this series will move you to learn more ways to help use our history to build new tools.

  Part 6 was last Sunday, and Part 8 will be next Sunday.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how this story may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

-we can learn from the past Stayed on Freedom’s Call for free,

        by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plans offline) in the present, to

                     We can  Do Better: a Vision of a Better World to create a kinder future

 

Peace    

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

( 5 month GED lesson 16 of 67 plans…),

       and Ranger M.’s Babylon 5 review posts, because story inspires learning…

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Please leave a review, if you can, on the GoodReads page.

Shira 

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Mindful Mondays, female leaders, and Adulting Ed.

I was just thinking about Amelia, and doing a full review series of El Ministerio del Tiempo, which brought this post to mind. I almost wish that I’d put a fantasy element into my series Ann & Anna, now…

Inspiring Critical Thinking and Community via Books, Lessons, and Story

Shirley Chisholm was a role model for many Black women.

Legal & Financial Pro-Bono and continuing education (aka Adulting Ed.) is easier when there are strong role models for all of us, and helping to build those new role models is also part of Phase I of the Four Freedoms movement -as these shows do:

I’m still emotionally buzzing from the end of episode 21 of El Ministerio del Tiempo and Amelia’s incredible courage, and character arc !!

More than just one protagonist, though, she stands in a line of female main characters (not always lead or protag, actually) who start off as just intelligent, and develop into both intelligent and strong female characters, a bit like Hermione Granger from the HP series:  these ladies began with some kind of growing to do, and did that growing through painful events, but grew, emotionally and personally (courage, commitment, etc) to…

View original post 420 more words

Ann and Anna, (serial short story, Part 6): Believe

 

                 Part 5 was last Sunday

 

     “Yes, Ma’am.”  I nodded again, hoping she was right, but not truly believing it, in my heart of hearts.  I reached out, and she opened her hand, lacing her fingers through mine. I could have stayed like that forever, but old Mary shifted her weight, reminding us that none of us were our own mistresses.  We must hurry on, if we were to remain out of chains.

 

     “Believe it.”    How did she do that?  There it was.  She had that twinkle in her eye.

 

She gently released my hand, patting Mary’s broad neck as she glanced at my reins before ducking under the head of her own horse.  She was mounted before I even noticed.  She was so practiced at this, I knew, but still felt in awe of her dexterity.  Both of mind and of body.

 

As we continued in the direction which, if I recalled my lessons correctly, was meant to be North by North West, I wondered how much longer we might be out here, at the mercy of any poor Marylander in need of our reward money.

 

For, rewards, on both our heads, there surely would be.

 

     “I don’t mean to pry, but I do wonder something.”  I turned my head, and saw that twinkle, again.  “Will we be out here, I mean in these woods, for much longer?”

 

     “No, Miss Willow,” she’d answered with the softness of a fuzzy pod seed, “we will not.”  She’d looked over at me, touching me with her eyes.  “Another day or so, at the outside.  By then we should be in the town of Westminster, where we are to meet up with Dr. H.”

 

I felt badly then, recalling how the panic of little Sal and my dear Miss Mary had spoiled our carefully laid plans for a quiet escape, forcing the retreat to our secondary, and less convenable, escape plans.  I could only hope and pray that things did not go too hard with Sal, Mary, and the others back there, who had been made to pay for my errors, the last time.

I could not bear to think on it.

 

       This is the continuation scene in my new series  Ann&Anna.  I  hope that this series will move you to learn more ways to help use our history to build new tools.

Part 5 was last Sunday, and Part 7 will be next Sunday.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how this story may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

-we can learn from the past Stayed on Freedom’s Call for free,

     by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plans offline) in the present, to

           We can  Do Better: a Vision of a Better World to create a kinder future

 

( 5 month GED lesson 16 of 67 plans),

   and  Babylon 5 review posts, from a Minbari Ranger’s perspective: story inspires learning…

Toward Peace,

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS

Shira

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Please leave a review, if you can, on the GoodReads page, and please do let us know here that you’ve reviewed it there!  🙂

Meddling With Archangels

  I wrote the short story   “Think Before Meddling With Archangels (how I wish I’d thought to shorten that title earlier!) as a completion of the initial scene Angels and Clay Blobs that I started back in 2012, and finally posted in 2014.  In between these two versions, I went through a couple of earlier (one with a name I liked, but feared might catch some flack, so changed it…) versions before finally posting TBMWA, which was my first, and so far only,  entry for a story contest, this one based on rational decision-making narrative.

       The initial scene of Angels and Clay Blobs actually kicked off my very first NaNo novel, Creator: Friend or Foe, which, after 7 drafts, will die a quiet death like every first practice novel.  Hubris and Hemlock, my second NaNo novel, is actually deserving of the title, having a plot!

🙂

I look forward to your thoughts on the writing process.

Shira

Action Items:

1.) What are your thoughts on using story to build new tools for our society?

2.) Share your thoughts on how this idea may help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

4.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

-we can learn from the past Stayed on Freedom’s Call for free,

        by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plans offline) in the present, to

                     help us all  Do Better to build a kinder and safer future for all of us…

 

Peace     ! שָׁלוֹם

Shira Destinie

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

(Online pdfs of 5 month GED lesson 15 of 67 plans…), and

Babylon 5 review posts, from a Ranger’s PoV: how story inspires learning…)

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Please leave a review, if you can, on the GoodReads page.

Shira 

from Commons by Claude Monet

Ann and Anna, (serial short story, Part 5): Naming

      …  Parts 4 (Home), 3 (Trust), 2 (Hope), and 1 (Nightmares) have posted on previous Sundays:

   I felt it more than I saw it: Anna was so startled that she nearly fell off of her horse.

“You were named by a what?”

Her whisper was sharp enough to cut through a dry pork chop.  Her amazement cut me to the bone.  It was understandable.  But still.

“I was named by a very old tree.  In The Old Dominion, of course.”

“So, exactly how did that happen, Miss Willow?  Did you hear a great rumbling voice speaking to you from out of the -”

She stopped speaking, giving me a look as if we were at Sunday meeting hearing of Moses and the Burning Bush.  I began to laugh and had to stop myself, fearing that I might endanger our escape with too much mirth.

“I had only just arrived in Virginia, the Senator having bought me from my first master, as far as I know.”

“Do you recall your birth home, or your mother, at all, Miss Willow?

“No, Ma’am, I do not.  Virginia is all I have ever known.  And you?”

“Both of my parents are now free, living in Washington, DC, but my mother was still in her bonds when I was born, and so I must run.”

“That must be very hard, having your parents here and having to leave kith and kin all alone.  How old are you, anyway, Miss Anna?”

“I am about 15 years old, Miss Willow, and you, Ma’am, are still straining to avoid my question almost as hard as old Mary there is straining to get to that grass.  Why don’t we stop for a moment in that little copse of trees up there and have a little respite, as the gentlemen say, to eat and talk a bit?”

The idea was certainly a welcome one, nervous though I was about what I had to tell.  I had no idea how far advanced the night had become, but it felt late, and we were all tired and hungry.

“That is a welcome idea, Miss Anna.”   I leaned in the direction I wanted to go, laying the reins that way, but to my astonishment, old Mary began to wander off in exactly the opposite direction.

“Pull the rein on the side you want her to go.  She got confused because some people use neck-reining, and that was what it felt to her like you just did.”

I followed Anna’s directions, apologizing to old Mary for my inexpert riding.  She didn’t seem to take insult as quickly as our young guide, I was relieved to see.  If we ever got out of this, and if I ever got to see old Mary here, again, up North, I would feed her as many apples and carrots as ever I could.  Sugar would have to be a treat she’d forgo, as all of the cane I knew of was grown and processed by plantations down Natchez way, and I was loath to buy anything that I knew came from the stolen labour of those still in bondage, as I was even now.

We settled in, leaving our horses saddled, but tethered close by and able to graze as we also took some small refreshment.  We had packed water, corn bread, apples, part of which I saved for Mary, and a few carrots.  We dared not risk a fire, but the short rest worked wonders for my tired and aching muscles, unaccustomed as I was to riding.

As it turned out, cold though it was, we were wise not to light any fire.  We’d just gotten our mounts under the shelter of an old bush arbor, as Anna said the old folks used to call them.  It seems that some of the field hands used to know how to bend young trees and saplings into the form of a shelter.  After covering them with the bark of a certain tree, they could make a living hut, round and supple, and reasonably warm, too.  I was surprised to learn how much this young woman knew about living and moving about out of doors.  Having been kept under constant watch in the house, I knew nothing of these things, and despaired of ever being able to learn them.

“Well, I think I will take this carrot over to old Mary-”

“Hush!”

Anna was holding up her hand as she ducked low to the ground, sidling over to take the reins of both our mounts and pulling their heads low as well.  I followed her lead, crouching down against the wall of our little shelter beside her.  All was silence, to my untrained ear.  Then I heard the sound of voices on the trail, some ways distant from us.  They were too far away to make out any words.  I found a dread overtaking me that rooted me to the spot as if that tree had adopted me as one of it’s own.  Even after some minutes, when their voices had passed, born away on the pine breeze, I found myself unable to move.  I also found the pain in my belly nearly overwhelming.  I was barely aware of Anna telling me that all was well again.  My breath, despite having opened my bodice before starting our ride, refused to move in or out of my lungs.  My body simply remained in a paralysis against which I was helpless to act.

“It’s ok, Miss Willow, it’s ok.  Just breathe.  Come on, breathe with me.”

I felt her beside me, stretching my body out, rolling me onto a blanket she must have laid on the floor of our little shelter over the pine needles.  I felt the rhythm of her breathing, her chest somehow directly against mine.  As the air returned to my lungs, I felt a soft pressure against my body, wrapping me in a warmth that made it feel as if it might be safe to be alive.  The warmth spread all along my back, and then into my legs.  I felt myself enveloped in a warm cocoon that made me want to breathe and stretch.  In my ear, a warm softness pressed in, uttering an unending command to keep breathing.

“That’s right, just keep breathing with me.  You’re safe.  We are safe.”

I opened my eyes and saw that we were lying together wrapped in a blanket, Anna’s arms around me in a protective embrace.  I blushed, feeling a carnal sensation that made me ashamed of myself, especially after my previous shameful paralysis.  My face and neck felt damp and irritated.

“Ssshh, sshh, sshh, it’s alright.”

I realized, as I opened my eyes again, that I must have been crying.  Anna’s smoothing of my hair, as a mother comforts her child, only made me feel more ashamed.  I was a burden, nothing more, and would do a favor for all the world if I would only have the strength to end my worthless existence.  My weeping must have gotten even worse, for Anna began to hold my head and rock me back and forth, as one rocks a baby to sleep.  And sleep I did, for a time.  When next I opened my eyes, it seemed that the sun was just about to shine the bright rays of morning upon us.  We still lay curled together, Anna’s hands tangled in my rebelliously curly long hair.

“Good morning, sleepyhead.”

How did she do that?  I hadn’t moved an inch, except to open my eyes.

“How did you know -”

“That you were awake?  Miss Willow, when you are on the road as long as I have been, you learn to notice things.  How are you feeling?”

“Oh, much better, thank you.  Just how long have you been on the road, Miss Anna?”

“Oh, since I was a young’un, I reckon.”

She smiled, a beautiful mischievous smile.  She leaned over, stretching her body fully over mine, gently arching her back so as not to smother me, and reached out for the plate with our leftover apples and cornbread.  I held her up at the waist, trying to be helpful as she held the plate even further out so that our horses could each take an apple.  The feeling of the curves of her body brought feelings back to my remembrance that made me blush again, as I also found my appetite return.

“Are you hungry?”

I looked away, hoping that she had not noticed my blush.

“Oh, yes, thank you.

“I’m afraid we don’t have any butter, and we’ll have to eat it cold.”

“Not to worry, Miss Anna, this morsel of food is like the manna sent from heaven.”

Her smile lit up my day as that pillar of fire must have lit the day of the wandering Israelites.

 We ate, arose and packed our meager belongings, taking pains to be certain that our tiny shelter left no evidence to betray our presence.  As we prepared to leave, and she was helping me mount old Mary,  Anna looked me in the eye:

“That is why you didn’t want to tell me, isn’t it?”

How did she doggon do that?  I could only nod my head.  She had caught me.

“I don’t think you have that tree around here, do you?”

She looked at me so tenderly that I thought my heart must break from it.  She touched my face, just brushing a stray hair aside.

“No, ma’am, we don’t have too many Weeping Willows up this way, not like further south.”

There we were.  I no longer needed to explain.  Relief flooded me, knowing that what became general knowledge before I could even speak had, once again, spoken for itself.

“But let me tell you this:  That particular breed of Willow is one of the strongest trees I know of.  Those trees survive storm, rain, wind, giving shelter to all who pass by.  They are useful, Miss Willow.”

I must have given her a baleful look, for her eyes firmed up, as she pointed a finger at me:

“And so are you.”

       This is the continuation scene in my new series  Ann&Anna.  I  hope that this series will move you to learn more ways to help use our history to build new tools.

  Part 4 was last Sunday, and Part 6 will be next Sunday.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

Action Items:

1.) Share your thoughts on how this story may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

-we can learn from the past Stayed on Freedom’s Call for free,

     by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plans offline) in the present, to

           We can  Do Better: a Vision of a Better World to create a kinder future

 

Peace     ! שָׁלוֹם

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

(Online pdfs of 5 month GED lesson 15 of 67 plans…),

       and Ranger M.’s Babylon 5 review posts, because story inspires learning…

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Please leave a review, if you can, on the GoodReads page.

Shira 

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

short contest entry: Think Before Meddling With Archangels

  Think Before Meddling With Archangels

“40 seconds guaranteed!”

What was Charlie talking about, now?   The singing had stopped, replaced by a few screams, here and there.

“We have to do it, quick!”

A large Police van had just pulled up, and was starting to load the women in, shoving most of them none too gently up and through the door.  One had fallen over, and she lay half in, half out of the van.  A burly officer had drawn his arm into a curl, ready to backhand her.  The woman appeared to be cringing in fetal position where she’d fallen in the doorway.

This looked sub-optimal.  If the shit hit the fan, nobody would believe them without proof.  Adagio pulled out that new Android he’d gotten for his name day.  Time to figure out how to film on this thing.  Another officer was talking on a radio, which seemed a bit old fashioned in the smart phone age.  He could just make out the word “ambulance” from where he stood.  Had he heard that right?  Why would they need an ambulance?  Nobody was hurt.

“I’m telling you, we can protect them!  Just help me with this ritual, quick, before they close the doors!”

Now he was getting to be too much.   And he was jostling Adagio’s phone arm.

“Charlie, I’m trying to film this.  Shut up before they spot us!”

“Ok, Thomas, but if those women get hurt, it will be on your head!”

“Charlie, just what in the name of Franklin Delano Roosevelt are you talking about?  I am trying to film this to help these women.  Even your Bible-adled mind must surely be able to see that!  And stop calling me Thomas!”

“Then stop taking the name of that good man in vain, Ad!  Listen to me, there is a faster and surer way to help them.  And it’s from the Good Book, which you also should not be taking in vain.”

Adagio wondered, for the fortieth time, if he should try explaining that one could not exactly take the Bible in vain, it not being a name.  Instead, he tried to keep filming while humoring his friend at the same time.

“Ok, Charlie, tell me about this ritual of yours.  Does it involve bells and holy water?”

“No, just the right words, and a sincere heart.  Two or more witnesses can call down a set of archangels to protect someone from harm.”

“Archangels!  Are you out of your mind, Charlie?!”  

Why was Charlie looking at him as if he were the nutcase?  

“Charlie, the archangels are the most dangerous powers in existence.  And even if we could do this, why bother them: nobody has been hurt.”

“Have you noticed those cops, Ad?  Somebody will be injured by the time they get out of that van, or they wouldn’t have called for an ambulance.”

Ok, so he hadn’t been the only one to hear that.  Definitely sub-optimal.  And one was looking at them.

“Ok, Charlie, let’s think about this rationally.”  

Click.  Adagio looked to see that the video was uploaded, since the van doors were now closed, and the police were clearing out.

 “First, we have just sent a timestamped video with GPS location and full facial, license plate, and badge visuals, to the police, state AG, and the ACLU.”

“We have?”

“Yes, I tagged you, for it to post on your Wall, too.  So this will not go unnoticed.”

“Oh, Ok.”  

Charlie pulled out his iPhone, a tone indicating that he’d tagged several friends as well.  Good.    Just as Charlie raised a finger, Adagio cut off his next words.

Second, do you know how hard it is to get even one archangel down here, with the important things they have to do?

“Yes, just imagine four of them!  Those women are definitely going to be safe!”

Charlie didn’t seem to be getting the point.

“Four archangels, Charlie?  Master angels, Charlie.  Commanding angels, Charlie.  Do you have any idea how difficult it is to summon even one master angel, and you want to summon all four of them, at the same time?  Have you got any clue, even the slightest hint, exactly how unimportant our greatest emergency could possibly be to an archangel, Charlie?”

Judging by the slack in Charlie’s jaw, he did not.

“People die every day, Charlie -lots of people.  So what possible life or death situation could even slightly worry a being standing in the presence of the … the Great Whatever?”

“Well, but…”

Crickets.

“Right, Charlie.  Nothing.  On the other hand, I’m pretty sure that tearing these four powerful beings away from their business will probably not make them very happy with us.  We’re most likely, in fact, to get our heads used as angelic footballs.”

“They won’t do that, Ad. They exist to serve. They ́re supposed to protect us.”

“That´s not what everyone thinks, Charlie.  Apparently, while some angels dance on pinheads, every other angel is created for one specific mission or purpose.”

“So, Doubting Thomas?

“So, when that mission is accomplished there is no more purpose, so the angel goes away -poof, disappears.”

“Look, Ad, those women are having the shit beaten out of them as we speak!  We need to be helping them, not standing around talking!”

Adagio pulled up the video, pausing on the van to enlarge the license plate, which clearly showed the number.

“State Attorney General and ACLU, Charlie.  They saw people filming.  They know they’ve been reported.  Why do you think Burly didn’t backhand that woman?”

“Oh, good point.  But an archangel would still put the fear of God into them!”

Some days, Adagio wondered: couldn’t he just duct tape Charlie’s mouth shut?  He sighed.

“Ok, Charlie, think about Balaam.”

“Who?”

Adagio wondered how someone who claimed to believe in the Bible could possibly be so ignorant of Biblical content.  He sighed again.

“The curse dude, Balaam.” 

Blank look.

 “The guy whose donkey saw the angel way before he did.”

Another blank look.

“Yeah, and?”

“An angel was sent to kill him.”  

Shocked look.  Yeah, Charlie…  

“Can you imagine what that particular angel must have looked like, to scare poor Balaam´s donkey more than a tyrant like Balaam could scare her?  I’m betting that this one, an executioner angel created specifically to kill a powerful mage, probably did not look pleasant.”

Charlie blinked.

“No.”

Adagio hoped that Charlie was starting to get a clue.  Maybe.

“No.  Now consider those archangels you believe we can summon.  Did you really want to piss off four extra powerful, permanently existing, commanding angels who have better things to do with their time than attend to foolish, self-centered, temporarily conscious blobs of dirt that already get more than our fair share of time and attention from the Creator?”

“But we need to -”

“To do what we already have done to take care of those ladies right now, and to also see that such things do not happen again?”

Was Adagio imagining it, or was there a glimmer of light finally starting to show in Charlie’s eyes?

“We did?”

Adagio ticked off one of his fingers as he explained:

“That video, since they saw lots of people filming, should prevent any bad beatings from happening, because they know that there will be an investigation now.”

Ticking off a second finger, he added,

 “It will also launch a law suit, which will call into question the larger laws around the issues these arrests are founded on.”  

Charlie gave him a quizzical look.

 “That is what the ACLU does, Charlie.  So we’ve already handled the problem both short term and longer term.  Why risk bothering the archangels?”

“Oh.”   

Charlie looked like he’d been hit with a water balloon at his birthday party.

 “Well, ok, in that case, but still, it seems a little disappointing not to get back at those big guys for hurting people.”

Adagio sighed again.

“Well, Charlie, it seems a little better not to meddle with archangels, because most days,  disappointed is better than dead.”

       This is my entry for the EA contest, on rational decision-making narrative:

       This is story is being “shared under a Creative Commons license that permits “commercial uses” in case the prizes are considered so, but not for sale of this story, in which “Someone realizes they were wrong, changes their mind, and does more good as a result,”  and is my first contest entry.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

Action Items:

1.) What are your thoughts on using story to build rational problem-solving?

2.) Share your thoughts on how this story may help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

4.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

-we can learn from the past Stayed on Freedom’s Call for free,

        by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plans offline) in the present, to

                     help us all  Do Better to build a kinder and safer future for all of us…

 

Peace     ! שָׁלוֹם

Shira Destinie

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

(Online pdfs of 5 month GED lesson 15 of 67 plans…), and

Babylon 5 review posts, from a Ranger’s PoV: how story inspires learning…)

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Please leave a review, if you can, on the GoodReads page.

Shira